Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Melodica!*, the first international online anthology of new music for melodica is now open for visits, via a provisional title page,  here.  The collection includes 17 18 works for melodica solo or ensemble by 12 13 composers, including: Jon Brenner, Stephen Chase,  Kieran Daly,  Paul A. Epstein, Graham Flett, Ben.Harper,  Aaron Hynds, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen,  Kondo Kohei, Nomura Makoto, Ushijima Akiko**.  There is considerable variety here, with a stylistic range from neo-classicism to minimalism, and from virtuoso use of extended techniques (I expect that Mr Flett's score, for example, will define the extended technical resources of the instrument for some time to come) to more conceptual/theatrical projects or  explorations of acoustic phenomena. 

This project is not yet closed to new contributors and some promised scores are, indeed, still outstanding, so check in at the site again in the future.  This has been a great experience: getting to know the work of some new colleagues as well as becoming familar with the history, technique and potential of an underappreciated instrument.  I hope that these pieces will have more exposure in the future and be widely played, that the melodica will receive more compositional attention and, not least of all, that this be a spur to more online collections of playable music for a diversity of resources, styles, techniques, and themes.  Being present, e.g. online, is a necessary first step to letting the world know about the liveliness, depth, and diversity of the new music.

Please also visit A Winter Album, an online collection of works for solo piano.  Contributions are still sought for A Spring Album, of percussion music.


* aka "melodica factorial". 

** I hope that I am excused for including two pieces of my own, the second of which was a late effort intended to make up for the absence of a late-50's/early-60's virtuoso serial bebop melodica piece, a bit of music history fiction along the lines of "what would it have been like if Severino Gazzelloni had played the melodica instead of the flute?"


Justin Friello said...

How might I submit a piece for A Spring Album?

Ben.H said...

Nice work! And contributing two pieces to your own project is no crime. Will be checking everyone else's pieces asap.

Elaine Fine said...

The first thing I thought of when I read "four off the shelf melodicas" was how much fun it would be to have a performance of this in a toy store.

I'm looking forward to exploring all these pieces.

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